To All of You Who Have Helped Give ‘In the Garden of Beasts’ Such a Fabulous Start: THANK YOU!

The book came out May 10, which, by sheer accident, was the anniversary of the infamous book-burning that took place on that date in 1933, during Adolf Hitler’s first year as chancellor of Germany. A very strange confluence indeed!

In just that short time, a lot of great things have happened:

–The book has already gone to a fifth printing.

USA Today on Thursday, May 19, ranked it no. 12. But here’s the thing: That’s no. 12 of all books, of all kinds, including the top fiction sellers and books by such celebs as Tina Fey and Chelsea Handler. Which makes me very happy.

–Janet Maslin gave it a great review in The New York Times of Friday, May 20, in which she called it “by far his best and most enthralling work of novelistic history.” Philip Kerr, the author of Berlin Noir and other detective novels set in Hitler’s Berlin, also wrote a rave review, which appeared in The Washington Post. Terrific reviews also have appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, People Magazine, and many other publications around the country, including my hometown paper, the Seattle Times. All of which leaves me feeling rather relieved and a bit dumbstruck. 

–And speaking of The New York Times, the book will hit the Times’ nonfiction bestseller list at no. 4 on Sunday, May 29; and, a sign of the times (no pun intended), it will debut at no. 3 on the Times‘ e-book list.

–At various moments over the last week or so the book has hit no. 1 on Amazon’s list of all books, and on Barnes and Noble’s list.

–Best of all, during the first leg of my book tour (which consumed the last two weeks), I have had the opportunity to speak to many large and enthusiastic audiences in cities around the country, including Nashville (currently being overrun with cicadas), Chicago, St. Louis, Iowa City, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Kansas City. It is always a pleasure to meet readers face to face. I even got to sign a few Kindles*.  

Enough narcissistic claptrap.


*With a Sharpie Permanent Marker, on the back.

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Erik Larson is the author of six New York Times bestsellers, most recently The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz, which examines how Winston Churchill and his “Secret Circle” went about surviving the German air campaign of 1940-41. Erik’s The Devil in the White City is set to be a Hulu limited series; his In the Garden of Beasts is under option by Tom Hanks, for a feature film. He recently published an audio-original ghost story, No One Goes Alone, which has been optioned by Netflix. Erik lives in Manhattan with his wife, who is a writer and retired neonatologist; they have three grown daughters.

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